The outgoing Managing Director of Barclays Bank Botswana Reinette van der Merwe leaves the bank a very happy woman having overseen a resurgent performance of the company. The bank’s profit before tax for 2018 jumped by a massive 14% profit increase from the previous year to reach P638 million. The PBT stood at P588 million in 2017.
Presenting the bank’s financial year results, van der Merwe who has been at the helm of the bank for five years, said she was delighted to be leaving the bank in a positive terrain, notwithstanding the inflation pressures
She is optimistic that the bank will keep growing based on the projected 4.2 % economic growth in 2019.
“Economic growth may falter in 2019, as global demand for diamond is likely to be challenged by ongoing trade disputes between USA and China, the largest consumers of diamonds. Non-mining sector will have to accelerate significantly if economic prospects are to brighten, and inflation is set to rise but remain comfortably within the Bank of Botswana’s 3-6% target range in 2019,” said van der Merwe.
Barclays further registered a solid balance sheet 12% growth in comparison to the previous year ended 31st December 2018, as the bank continued to execute its strategy.
Additionally, growth was influenced by customer’s loans which increased by 10% year-on-year to P11.8 billion.
She said this growth was fairly distributed across the segments in line with the strategy and continues to be focused around prudent lending in the chosen business segments.
She also highlighted that the strategy that the bank formulated came out as a great journey towards the Barclays transformation, noting that key amongst its outcomes is that it led to significant growth of corporate and SME banking.
“We are committed to this journey to transform our culture and build a winning customer centric digitally-led business for our customers, our people and a force for good for all our stakeholders. Our proven strategy and highly engaged work force will continue to allow us to maintain and reinforce our strong position in this market,” she added.
On other financial highlights, business achieved a cost to income ratio of 52% on removing the effect of Barclay Private Limited Company separation costs. The ratio remains within the strategic target of the 50’s. Year –on-year costs grew 5% removing the effect of Barclays PLC separation costs.
Barclays Chief Financial Officer Mumba Kalifungwa said the 14% profitability increase is a significant stride by the bank despite the continuous stiff competition.
He said the entire business segment has realised a solid revenue growth, thus showing positivity in the bank’s more anticipated profit gains going forward in future, as more investment will be put into innovation as well.
van der Merwe’s exit from Barclays was confirmed by the Chairman of the Barclays Board of Directors Oduetse Motshidisi who also confirmed that Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane will take over as new MD from April1.
Motshidisi applauded van der Merwe for her meritorious service to the bank and wished her well in future endeavors.